A fine description of Adam Bede’s fine eyes and keen mind. As for Hetty, nowadays she’d be branded a teaser. She has no interest in Adam and wouldn’t dream of marrying him. But she enjoys his attraction to her, and reels him back in whenever he looks like slipping the net. Anything to prevent that Mary Burge getting him!
Empathy and kindness don’t feature in Hetty’s vocabulary.
‘She liked to feel that this strong, skilful, keen-eyed man was in her power, and would have been indignant if he had shown the least sign of slipping from under the yoke of her coquettish tyranny …’
Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 143